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Newsmax attacks Biden’s senior dog Champ—and the internet jumps to his defense

By Tanya Lara Published Feb 23, 2021 10:45 pm Updated Feb 23, 2021 10:50 pm

US President Joe Biden’s 12-year-old dog Champ may be old, and while he no longer has a spring in his step, he has fans and defenders all over the world.

Last Friday, far-right cable news channel Newsmax host Greg Kelly suddenly started a segment on Champ Biden. He implied that the aging German shepherd was not loved or being cared for in the White House and called him a “junkyard dog.”

“Did you see the dog? Doesn’t he look, uh, a little rough?” he said.

“I love dogs!” he exclaimed with fake sincerity. As the screen split between him and a picture of Champ Biden, he said, “This dog needs a bath, a comb and all the love and care. I’ve never seen a dog in the White House like this. I remember Buddy, I remember Millie. I remember a lot of dogs, but not a dog that’s seems, I don’t know…I don’t know how much love and care he’s getting.”

(Buddy was President Bill Clinton’s Labrador retriever; Millie was President George H.W. Bush’s English springer.)

“This dog looks like, I’m sorry, like it’s from the junkyard,” Kelly added.

If Kelly really does love dogs and has actually taken care of one to old age and through a terribly painful hip dysplasia, which large dogs often suffer from, he would have known that old dogs look old—heartbreakingly old!

Senior dog Champ Biden, 12, relaxing on the White House lawn. Photos by Adam Schultz/The White House
Champ’s younger brother Major, 3, is the first shelter dog to live in the White House. Photo from

I myself have had to decide on euthanasia for two senior dogs in a period of nine years. Only after their vets said they were in pain did I make that decision. If they were simply old, I would have carried those dogs from room to room and fed them from a spoon. One was a Labrador retriever who developed hip dysplasia when she was 10, and the other was a miniature schnauzer who at 15 couldn’t stand up or eat anymore.

The Bidens in a few years or maybe even sooner may have to make that decision about Champ (for large breeds like German shepherds 12 years is a remarkably long life).

Dogs give us unconditional love and friendship—something you rarely get from other people. Which is why I was triggered by Newsmax’s attack on Champ.

What host Greg Kelly displayed on the screen—I am 99% sure—was a screenshot from a video, not a still photo. The photo onscreen was blurred, which made Champ’s fur look dull and dirty. I know this because I’ve screenshot Biden’s dogs a couple of times for articles about the dogs and they are so different from still photos, which show the true colors of his fur—black and brown albeit faded, and white and gray around his snout.

Even in the candid photos of Champ on Dr. Jill Biden’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, he does NOT look like a junkyard dog.

Kelly brings in two historian guests, and one of them continues to attack Champ. Presidential historian Craig Shirley said Champ “looks very dirty and disheveled, very unlike a presidential dog.

US President Joe Biden brings Champ and Major to work in the Oval House. 
Newsmax’s Greg Kelly calls Champ a “junkyard dog.” This photo looks like a video screenshot—compare it with still pics that show Champ's clean fur. 

The clap back on the historian’s tweet promoting the show was quick. A netizen replied, “Those Biden dogs are better looking, cleaner, smarter and classier than you, so take a look in the mirror before you criticize…then take a seat.”

Another said the historian “embarrassed himself and seriously tarnished his own professional reputation by allowing himself to be pulled into @newsmax‘s frivolous discussion about the appearance of a dog.”

And yet another gave him a taste of his own medicine, “No tie. Too much forehead. Uneven dye job. Far too unkempt for a news show. Is anyone even taking care of Craig?”

Did Newsmax really need historians to attack a dog? I already said that the photo of Champ looks like a screenshot intended to make him look rumpled right? Trump loves this channel and it’s no surprise why. Apart from giving life to conspiracy theories—Trump peddled yet again his unfounded claim that the election was rigged on this channel last week—apparently its hosts are given to non-sequiturs.

Dog lovers on Twitter defended Champ by posting pictures of their own senior dogs and explaining kindly to Greg Kelly that, hey, Champ is 12 years old—that’s 84 in human years.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti tweeted, “It really says something about the integrity of Joe Biden that his critics have to resort to making fun of his senior dog. They’re attacking him for caring for a senior dog? That earns him points in my book.”

Biden has been taking care of German shpherds since he was a child and named Champ after his own nickname. 

“Newsmax is attacking Joe Biden’s dogs—not a typo. His presidential performance must be pretty darn good,” tweeted @ThePubliusUSA.

“President Biden’s dogs are cleaner and smarter in all ways than the fecal matter talking heads on NewsMax, Fox News, and the rest of the Trump ass kissers,” another said.

Many more tweets said that it was another far-right deflection—from Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s leaving Texas to go to Cancun, Mexico for a holiday as his constituents experienced power outage and freezing temperatures.

And Cruz left his poodle Snowflake in a freezing house as his family headed to warm weather. Cruz, like Trump, wanted to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the US.

“Champ is an elderly dog that’s lived a good life. As a USSS agent I saw how very well the Bidens treated their dogs. Biden’s never left their dog in a cold house to go to Cancun,” said one.

Champ attends a meeting in the Oval Office.

The shade was just too delicious!

A picture of Cruz’s poodle—looking forlorn and abandoned as he looked through the glass door from inside the Cruzes’ dark house—circulated online last week as the Senator was in Mexico.

Hillary Clinton trolled Cruz perfectly. She tweeted, “Don’t vote for anyone you wouldn’t trust with your dog.”

Cruz told the press later that going to Mexico was a “mistake” and blamed his children for wanting to go on vacation—while Texans were suffering.

He did not mention his dog.